Monday, July 27, 2015

Fantasia 2015 Film Review - Traders

A financial business goes bust with 14 billion defect on the books. The satellite offices in London and Singapore label staff from that branch toxic. The employees were making very good money having expenses to match their expected monthly income. Now that a regular paycheck is gone their respective collars begin to tighten. Into this space steps Vernon Stynes (John  Bradley) from Game of Thrones who has a new business plan to cash in on econoside (the theory that for every point the unemployment rate goes up the suicide rate increases in lock step).

The plan is a contract between consenting adults to liquefy all of their assist, put the cash into a green bag, meet the other agreeable party and fight to the death for the cash in both bags. The options are death or double your money a better option to someone desperate for funds than a low decent into financial ruin. Stynes calls this new venture Trading. Participants can go to the website find a match meet their opponent in a pub, check for guns (which are not allowed), exchange and disable cell phones then head out to a remote area using multiple busses to avoid tails to Trade.

Vernon's colleague from the bankrupted firm Harry Fox (Killan Scott) is appalled when Vernon first approaches him with the new business idea. But after he gets a full grasp of his new financial reality that includes a minimum wage data entry position and threatening calls from his bank he agrees to Trade. Unexpectedly Harry finds that he is very good at it and has videos from you tube military instructor Big John (Tom Davis) to help him deal with injuries especially knife wounds suffered out on the field of play.

Writer /Directors Rachel Moriarty and Peter Murphy bring an unbelievable but chillingly conceivable story to the screen.  In this current economic client with people seriously in debt, business, corporation and even countries threatening to fail a chance to double your money or end it all quickly could appeal to a very desperate person. The direction peaks when the fights are depicted on screen. The combatants are very cordial when they are going through the initial steps then all of a sudden the fight is on and despite several fight scenes the audience never is ready for that first violent strike.

Killian Scott is perfectly cast as the main trader Harry Fox. He is first unwilling then ready to give his opponent the chance to back out but as his successes pile up he turns into a cold-blooded quick strike assassin. John Bradley continues to build a career as a thinking sidekick.  His Vernon Stynes character is an encyclopaedia of mundane facts but strikes on the concept of Trading. Look for Barry Keoghan in the supporting role of Ken. He becomes involved in Trading as Vernon's proxy, is much younger and smaller than the other players but makes up for is youth with ultra violent knife proficiency.

Traders is a compelling study of an underground activity. The rules set the framework and the participants willingness for the most part to follow is reminiscent of David Fincher's Fight Club. Killian Scott even has that late 90's Brad Pitt look. The film has a very strong narrative that is eerily plausible making Traders a film that I can highly recommend.

**** Out of 4.

Traders | Rachel Moriarty / Peter Murphy | Ireland | 2015 | 90 Minutes.

Tags: Economic Collapse, Bankrupt, Financial Crisis, Suicide, Mortgage Payments, Desperation, Duel, Fight, Death, Knives, Bruises, Knife Wounds, Remote Location, Grave.

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